Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I'm Positive, It's a Koala

I'm a big believer in the power of positive thinking. That's probably because I have to make a pointed effort to think postively, as a game plan, or I can sometimes really drift into the negative. When something starts to hurt - and in running isn't that pretty much inevitabe? - it just compounds it to focus on whatever is ailing.

I think back to my first marathon, where my mantra was the saying, "Your mind can only hold one thought at a time, so make it a positive and constructive one." I held onto that thought with everything I had, and stayed postive every single step. And when I crossed the line, I crossed into a new me. A me that finally believed in me; a me that could only be given to me by myself. So yeah, being positive is a good and useful thing.

So bringing me to today, I did a pack run and I needed to find a way to be positive about the pack. Thinking of it as a holder for my snowshoes and survival gear wasn't going to cut it. I didn't want to get 20k into Rock and Ice and be thinking I want to toss the thing. (That would be very negative.) So I decided while running today that the perfect thing is to think of my pack as a cute koala bear holding onto me. My whole run I smiled whenever I thought of my little koala, and it must have worked because I felt really strong and didn't mind the weight on my back. So, if I start to hallucinate a little in Yellowknife and request some eucalyptus leaves, it'll all make sense.

Monday, December 29, 2008

2008 Training Summary and Notes

2008 highlights:
- Very happy with long runs and how good my feet have been. Fireblades, barefoot running keeping feet happy; better nutrition and consistency have made them better overall.
- Added barefoot runs on our back trail a few days a week for up to 20'. Amazing, totally hooked. Great to know what your best natural form feels like, instead of trying to visualize.
- Really consistent strength workouts all year. Lots of single leg strength work; very running specific. Upper, including chin ups which are the hardest thing in the world I figure.
- Consistent quality running workouts; Usually 2x a week - tempo on one day and intervals or hills on the other.
- Increased mileage near the end, and will build more into 2009. Endurance is good, speed isn't holding me back for the distances I race, so stamina needs to improve: lots of miles.
- Love training, but only completed one race. Need to race more in 2009.

Training Summary, from most recent:

Dec 22-Dec 28
M - am 38 pm 35 (plus strength)
T - am 60 (Treadmill hill tempo; 5'@10/90"j/5'@10/5'@12/90"j/10'@12/90"j/1'each@14,12,10,12,14deg; tough) pm 45 (snowshoe)
W - 112 (pack & snowshoe)
T - 120 (mostly road; easy to steady)
F - am 73 (10x~90" Bradford Hill reps; steep at bottom, then gradual) pm 20
S - 60
S - 21
Total 9:43

Dec 15-Dec 21
M – 40 (plus strength circuit)
T - am 69 pm 60 (30' trail tempo; tired)
W - am 60 pm 40 (pack run)
T - 39
F - am 52 (Treadmill hill tempo; 5x5'@8/10/12/10/8deg w/2'0 recov; good) pm 41 (snowshoe)
S - 66 (plus strength circuit)
S - 141 (spikes and snowshoes)
Total 9:48

Dec 8-Dec 14
M - am 66 pm 44
T - off
W - off (crashed this week, ugh)
T - am 41 pm 30
F - am 52 pm 41
S - 40
S - 120
Total 7:14

Dec 1-Dec 7
M - am 46 pm 59
T - am 45 pm 82 (40' trail tempo; great)
W - am 80 pm 30
T - am 45 pm 74 (~2' hill reps Newburgh; 32' total u&d; felt good)
F - am 50 pm 46
S - 271 (Fr Park)
S - 78 (sooo hungry!)
Total 15:06

Nov 24-Nov 30
M - am 45 pm 45
T - off
W - am 42 pm 40
T - am 40 pm 50 (20' trail tempo)
F - am 46 pm 30
S - 46
S - 35
Total 6:59

Nov 17-Nov 29
M - am 42 pm 42
T - 69 (31' tempo)
W - am 42 pm 31
T - am 62 pm 65 (Yarker hill reps; 10x~90"-75"; great)
F - am 30 pm 45
S - 251 (Fr Park North Perim. Best LR ever)
S - am 80 pm 37 (hungry!)
Total 13:16

Nov 10-Nov 16
M - am 46 pm 44
T - am 45 pm 81 (41' trail tempo; legs sluggish)
W - am 76 (tired) pm 32
T - am 42 pm 67 (Curl Rd hill reps; 8x~90"; great)
F - 60
S - 86
S - 217 (RT/Gould Lk; tired, but great at end)
Total 13:16

Nov 3-Nov 9
M - 42
T - am 72 pm 68 (30' trail tempo/progression; great)
W - 82 pm 31
T - am 32 pm 60 (Yarker hills reps; 8x)
F - 50
S - Biked 60 (ouch on neck, butt)
S - 184 (Fr Park; owl and deer)
Total 10:21

Oct 27-Nov 2
M - 45
T - am 45 pm 50
W - am 89 (road 8:30/mi) pm 40
T - am 49 pm 64 (30' trail tempo; legs sore)
F - off
S - 88 (sluggish)
S - 154 (nasty nasty horrible run)
Total 10:24 (89' avg)

Oct 20-Nov 1 - 4:01 total; recovery week
Oct 13-Oct 19 - 11:13 total; 47' Hilly road tempo; Track ladder (2/4/6/8/k/8/6/4/2 w/90"j); Long 135' Fr Park
Oct 6-Oct 12 - 5:57 total; Track 3xk w/2'j (4:14,4:12:4:12) tired; Long 132'
Sep 29-Oct 5 - 8:31 total; mostly recovery, some steady
Sep 22-Sep 28 - 4:13 total; Track 6x400 w/90"j (93,94,93,91,94,96) tired
Sep 15-Sep 27 - 4:37 total; Track 3 miles @ test MP (7:53,7:42,7:37) too tired so no PEC marathon;
Sep 8-Sep 14 - 1:16 total; recovery
Sep 1-Sep 7 - 7:20 total; Hali 50k in 5:36:55; Not a great day, but held it together and was happy
Aug 25-Aug 31 - 4:34 total; taper
Aug 18-Aug 24 - 5:38 total; Long 152' Fr Park tired
Aug 11-Aug 17 - 10:30 total; Long 245' Fr Park; Unplanned 24' trail/road tempo AWESOME Best Run Ever; Timed Ladder
Aug 4-Aug 10 - 10:44 total; Lake Placid long runs
Jul 28-Aug 3 - 9:22 total; Track 10x400 (94 down to 90) with 90"/j
Jul 21-Jul 27 - 12:18 total; 30' trail tempo; Track 6x1000 (4:16,4:16,4:13,4:11,4:04,4:02) with 2'/j; Long 248' Fr Park
Jul 14-Jul 20 - 10:53 total; 2 Long (191' run home on K&P and 181' Fr Park); Track 12x400 (96 to 92)

Jan 1-Jul 13 - AVERAGE WEEKLY TOTAL 7:01

Monday, December 22, 2008

Be the change you want to see...

I've been following a lot of ultra and trail blogs where people outline their training. I find it very interesting, and also inspiring.

I hope that more women start posting their training, as the ones I found are mostly by men. (If anyone has found some, please let me know.)

In the spirit of wanting more women's training blogs, I'm going to start recording some of my training for 2009 here, as I get ready for Rock and Ice in March, and then a 50 miler in the fall. Before I start that, I guess I should recap my 2008 training. I'll do that soon.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Function of Felines

Sometimes Derrick questions the usefulness of our two cats. (Granted, they don't do much but eat and sleep, but I do like when they plop their warm furry selves on me for scratches and a nap.)

Anyway, yesterday I had my first run with a backpack and I was looking around for something to weigh it down with, when I spotted the perfect thing - a bag of cat food. It was 8 lbs, the perfect starting weight. It made a nice rattle as I ran through the snow, and hey, it's always good to carry snacks.

Monday, December 15, 2008


I have been working on increasing my mileage lately, while keeping my tempo run and speed/hill workout. I started by jumping up to a couple of weeks with over 13 hours, then a recovery week of about 8, followed by a 15 hour week two weeks ago (including a 4.5 hour long run). Apparently the jump of almost 2 hours was a bit much, because last week I crashed pretty hard, with no energy and lots of naps.

So this week I'm going to be a bit more careful. This kind of training is good for a multi-day race like Rock and Ice, because it trains your body to get used to recovering quickly. I'm still figuring out the best plan to get me to March, and it's always neat to see how the body adapts to specific training. Keeping well fuelled is essential, and I can be a bit scary if I run out of snacks!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Dreaming of the North

In the coming months, I will be detailing my preparations - logistical, physical and mental - for the BHP Billiton Rock and Ice Ultra. This stage race is held in Yellowknife, NWT, Canada in March 2009. I will be taking part in the three-day K-Rock Ultra race, on snowshoe and foot. I've always had a fascination with the North, and to experience it in the context of a stage race is very exciting.